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In an instant, in a geographical point of nothing-time, neurons fire and two people make contact, leaving behind the invisible imprints of fried bacon, of French poets, of rumpled bed-sheets.

Outside if this geometric instant, the window for 8J passes a man’s desk at four hundred sixty-six miles per hour. It keeps going.

~Anna Kovatcheva’s September

 

Anna Kovatcheva’s story September starts off in such a technical manner that is almost non-human. She describes the plane bursting through the office window, snapping the neck of the worker seated at his desk and the neurological impulses that pass through passenger 8J’s head as she sees this man. This technical point of view is then alienated by the woman’s own thoughts of what life could have been. Isabella, the passenger occupying seat 8J, fantasizes about the potential life she and Joshua, the man whose neck snapped, could have lived. Their life together is uniquely their own, filled with misfortunate events that should have driven them farther apart rather than closer together. Their love blossomed from misfortune. Their first date results in them both suffering from food poisoning, the trips they plan out to the shore are spoiled by unexpected rain storms, the most mundane conversation topics result in the most inflamed arguments and their life together is reduced to cramped quarters in a small apartment. The most tragic part of this love story however is that it is a fantasy, nothing more than brief neural impulse as the plane crashes and both their lives end simultaneously.

 

Sometimes the most tragic events inspire the most beautiful things. For Isabella and Joshua the terrorist attack that ended their lives’ together also started a wonderful chapter of their lives’ together. Isabella’s momentary fantasy is like a dream; a dream of what could have been—what should have been. It is as if she is trying to see a happier more fulfilling ending to her life. And while she does do this via her fanciful relationship with Joshua she cannot escape their inevitable fate. The momentary love they share comes as their lives flash before their eyes and they die. Fate had brought them together through tragedy. When Kovatcheva brings the reader back to a more technical point of view at the end of the story you cannot help but be reminded of the atrocity that occurred. It is almost a reality check that reminds you of the pain and suffering that occurred.

 

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